The 25 Best Rooftop Bars in America
We've searched coast to coast to find the best rooftop bars in America. From the skyscrapers of New York to the Californian coast, we've found the rooftop bars with the best cocktails, food, views and vibes in the USA.
Moxy Times Square, New York
A sprawling New York hotel in the heart of the city, much of Moxy’s business is based around its 612 modern bedrooms. But for those in the city looking to experience a few drinks against one of the world’s most exclusive skylines, there are plenty of options. Magic Hour is the most exciting, a rooftop bar offering sumptuous views over Manhattan. Outdoor heaters keep you warm in winter and the bar acts as a glorious sun trap in the summer months, when they do away with the cosy blankets which adorn the seating. Other venues within the hotel include the Legasea seafood brasserie and Bar Moxy, a communal bar in the hotel lobby. But a rooftop drink at Magic Hour is without a doubt the best option.
The Delancey, New York
Adorned with cool black furniture and lush green plants, The Delancey is one of the funkiest venues in New York. The three floors also act as a music venue, attracting some big name DJs and local talent to entertain the crowds which descend on the bar in the evenings. The rooftop space itself has a retractable roof, meaning there’s no need to stop the party even if the weather isn’t great. As well as a range of beer, wine, spirits, champagne and cocktails, The Delancey also offers a range of food. Light bites including tacos, fries, nachos and more ensure you can visit The Delancey night or day for a great few hours of entertainment.
The Lookup Rooftop, New York
An excellent location just a minutes’ walk from the Empire State Building is just the first factor in establishing The Lookup Rooftop as one of New York’s best rooftop bars. Simply but stylishly furnished with red bar stools, comfy sofa areas and wood panelling, the bar overlooks one of the world’s most famous buildings. The venue is only open in summer and is exposed to the elements in places, so it’s a great place to get your tan on whilst you’re sipping on a few fruity cocktails. Cocktails start at around $15 and beers at $7, which isn’t bad for New York. To accompany your drinks you are welcome to tuck into a range of side dishes, from popcorn to handmade sandwiches and chocolate chip cookie dough.
The Nolen, San Diego
Housed on the 14th floor and offering excellent views over downtown San Diego, The Nolen is a timeless rooftop bar located just a short walk from Petco Park. From the rooftop bar and dining area the views stretch as far as Coronado Bridge and the open-air lounge is a wonderful place to gather night or day for a couple of drinks and a bite to eat. The food menu includes classic dishes such as chips & guac and short-rib tacos, as well as more exotic truffle flatbread or chili glazed meatballs. The venue opens specially for brunch on Sundays and throughout opening hours, guests can drink from an array of both recognised and experimental cocktails, including the Nolen Smash (Reposado Tequila, ginger liqueur, Agave, fresh lemon, basil) and the You Had Me At Aloe (Tequila, Mezcal, pineapple, aloe liqueur, ginger).
Haven Rooftop, New York
Some of the greatest real estate in New York can be found in and around the city’s renowned Theater District, and Haven Rooftop have managed to acquire a slice of this just for you. Located on the rooftop of the prestigious 4-star Sanctuary Hotel in the heart of Times Square, Haven Rooftop overlooks the most iconic part of the city. Guests are invited to dress in business casual wear to visit the bar, where they can tuck into an array of mouth-watering American cuisine, sip on craft cocktails and listen to music in the background. The extensive food menu includes dishes such as pan seared salmon and filet steak, all served to restaurant standards. Washed down with a few deliciously fresh cocktails, and you have an incredibly desirable day or evening out.
Leaf Bar & Lounge, New York
A seasonal cocktail menu which changes twice per year is perhaps the most eye-catching thing about Leaf Bar & Lounge. You think you’ve tried everything and then the next time you visit there’s an entire new menu to discover. Glass panelling on the side of this rooftop bar provides excellent views of the sunset, making this Flushing, New York location the perfect destination for a romantic date. Seating is either at bar stools overlooking this magnificent view or on more formal sofas and soft chairs, whilst if the weather isn’t great then you can make use of the extensive indoor bar area too. Cocktails are $15 and you can get a bite to eat, such as quesadillas or salt and pepper popcorn chicken for around $11.
The Quarter Bar, Dallas
A frenetic bar in the heart of Dallas, The Quarter Bar is the place to head if you’re after a few drinks and a rowdy (ish) night. The well-stocked bar is always packed and there’s a large dance floor and DJ booth which really comes alive in the evenings. There are even large games such as Connect 4 which get more appealing the more bourbons you enjoy. If you want to calm things down for a few minutes or enjoy a quieter drink in the cool outside air, then The Quarter Bar’s outside rooftop area is the place to head. Simple wooden furniture pales away in comparison to some of the swanky venues on this list, but the fun-natured, down to earth vibe of this bar makes it well worth a visit for anyone who wants to let their hair down.
The Rooftop Lounge (Laguna Beach), Los Angeles
The first of our rooftop bars to boast ocean views, The Rooftop Lounge in LA is California down to a T. Housed at the top of the La Casa del Camino hotel, the chilled bar offers gorgeous sea views and a refreshing breeze. Boasting the best happy hours in the area and a signature mojito cocktail, made with fresh fruit, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a sunny weekend in the city. Watch the sun go down in the company of your partner, friends, or even your dog (it’s a pet friendly venue) or visit in the day to soak up some rays (just remember your sun block, it gets hot). As well as a range of drinks, The Rooftop Lounge serves all manner of food, including burgers, sandwiches, pasta and salads.
No Dive Bar, Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel, Los Angeles
On the seventh floor of the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel, this rooftop restaurant bar and grill offers some of the best views over the city that you’ll find. Delicious meals and an extensive bar menu have helped to put the hotel on the map. A resplendent part of the Los Angeles skyline, the hotel has won numerous awards since its opening and was branded Travel + Leisure World’s Best Hotel in 2018.
Elsie Rooftop, New York
Located a staggering 25 storeys up, the lavish Elsie Rooftop is one of the most exclusive rooftop bars you’ll find in the whole of the USA, let alone New York. The bar hosts numerous events throughout the year and offers a seasonal rotating menu, with light dishes always being designed to perfectly compliment the range of fresh cocktails. Dishes on the menu include things like Margherita flatbreads, Black Angus beef sliders and truffled grilled cheese sandwiches. Prices aren’t cheap but you pay for the location, and the well-presented outdoor dining area offers jaw-dropping views over the New York skyline.
El Techo, San Francisco
Open 364 days of the year, there is never a bad time to visit El Techo rooftop bar in San Francisco for some street food and a few drinks. The bar specialises in Latin American food and a selection of heat lamps and wind screens help to keep the atmosphere pleasant at all times, whatever the weather outside. A traditional brunch is served at weekends and Happy Hour runs from 4 – 6pm Monday – Friday: expect $4 beers and cocktails starting from just $7. El Techo is rarely quiet, so reservations are essential if you’d like to secure a table.
Broken Shaker, Freehand Hotel, New York
An award-winning cocktail bar which is part of the prestigious Freehand hotel chain, Broken Shaker is yet another New York rooftop bar which oozes appeal. Expert bartenders have created an innovative menu, with cocktails such as the Jake the Snake (Don Julio Blanco tequila, Ilegal mezcal, Ancho Verder, papaya, szechuan peppercorn, lime) and Curry in a Hurry (Bombay Dry gin, Grey Goose vodka, St Germain, red curry honey, pineapple, lemon) wowing guests no matter how many times they visit. There’s also a great selection of wine and beer, whilst the food menu is kept very simple. Just a handful of options done brilliantly. Examples include shrimp tacos and a hot chicken sandwich.
Izakaya Den, Denver
A delightfully traditional Japanese restaurant, Izakaya Den specialises in sushi and Japanese-style tapas, with guests urged to order several small portions of different things. The ambience of the restaurant is incredibly therapeutic, with the rooftop dining area boasting overhead skylights, mood lighting and traditional Japanese décor. Whilst Izakaya Den is primarily a restaurant, there is a decent sized bar area too, where diners can enjoy a few drinks. The traditional Japanese rice wine, sake, features heavily across the bar menu, having been infused into a range of delicious cocktails which are a must try when visiting. There’s also a range of Japanese whiskey.
Lustre Bar, Phoenix
Lustre is the only rooftop bar to be found in downtown Phoenix, so it’s a good job that it’s a great one! The sleek grey flooring and gorgeous wood panelling gives the bar an exclusive look to it, and it’s one of the only rooftop bars on this list to have a swimming pool. Surrounded by sun loungers, it’s the perfect way to make the most of some balmy Arizonan weather. A range of beer, wine and fresh cocktails is accompanied by a professional food menu, the brainchild of head chef German Cruz. A range of mouth-watering sharing platters and a selection of flatbreads, salads and tacos mean there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Otopia, Otis Hotel, Austin
This members only club is one of the most exclusive spots in Austin, and another rooftop bar boasting its own swimming pool. Sunset Happy Hour is probably the best time to visit, with $8 cocktails and $2 off wine by the glass. This takes place 30 minutes before and after sunset from Monday to Thursday. The bar itself is open air, with modern bar seating looking outwards to the city and a good sized pool in the centre, where it gets maximum sun during pleasant weather. And the food menu is very tasteful, with dishes such as salmon poke bowl and beef tenderloin tartare tempting diners.
Paramour Bar, San Antonio
A popular bar in one of Texas’ main cities, Paramour has built its entire establishment around 20 signature craft cocktails. They have all been perfected over years of experimenting and are available at just this one bar. The bar is stylishly decorated, with ambience created by mood lighting and music, played live by resident DJs and the occasional solo artist or band performance. Burlesque dancing and the like is also not unheard of during special events. There’s outdoor and indoor seating and the entire venue can even be hired out for private events of up to 500 people. That would be some party…
Rooftop 1WLO, Fort Lauderdale
With stunning views over Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard and the New River, Rooftop 1WLO transports guests to a rooftop oasis. A peaceful patio decorated with plants and shrubs, overlooking the city skyline. The bar’s resident mixologists have put together a fascinating cocktail menu; examples include the Zaddy (Ron Zacappa rum, apple & thyme, pineapple) and Sunset Sipper (Bacardi, jalapeño & cucumber, hibiscus). You can even create your own with the help of staff. Rooftop 1WLO’s range of nibbles includes a miso pork belly flatbread, short rib gyoza and Korean fried chicken sandwich. All in all, the perfect place for a sophisticated evening out with friends or family.
Rooftop at Exchange Place, New Jersey
One of Jersey City’s most desirable destinations, views from the Rooftop at Exchange Place include the Manhattan skyline, Hudson River, Staten Island and even the Statue of Liberty – quite the place to spend an afternoon or evening. The Rooftop is open year round, with a retractable glass roof meaning it can cope with inclement weather and glass walls making the most of the splendid view. At weekends it is open late, with live DJs adding to the atmosphere of the bar. One floor below the Rooftop, the Terrace serves fresh cocktails and hosts live music on weekends.
St Cloud Rooftop, The Knickerbocker Hotel, New York
A part of New York’s Knickerbocker Hotel, the St Cloud Rooftop boasts an exclusive piece of real estate overlooking Times Square. The luxury bar includes three Sky Pods and offers both indoor and outdoor seating options, so you can enjoy a drink here whatever the weather. Many of the bar’s walls have been planted with lush vegetation, which only adds to the glamour and allure of the bar. Serving a variety of craft beers, wine and fresh cocktails, the St Cloud Rooftop also serves a small seasonal menu, focussed on small plates. Specially curated music plays throughout the day and into the evening, helping to set the atmosphere.
Another New York cocktail lounge, another Time Square skyscraper. The Skylark is located a staggering 30 storeys up and boasts many of the same panoramic views as other establishments on this list. The Hudson River, Times Square and the Empire State Building are just a handful of examples. Floor to ceiling windows mean that even in winter, the bar remains a great option for an evening out. And in summer, the open-air rooftop acts as a great sun trap, helping revellers to catch some rays. Their range of signature cocktails start at $19, which is pricey but worth it to spend a few hours in such an elegant venue.
As far as rooftop bars in Denver go, 54Thirty is the highest (at 20 floors up), boasting fabulous views over the city. The seasonal bar has its focus on craft cocktails, and they’re reasonably priced too, averaging out about $12 per drink. Fairy lights are strung overhead to keep the atmosphere pleasant and there are covered areas for when it gets a bit too cold or wet. The food menu includes a charcuterie board, an avocado hummus flatbread and kale & apple salad, testament to the bar’s desire to offer a menu of “globally-inspired bites”.
Assembly Rooftop, Philadelphia
Although a part of The Logan hotel, Philadelphia’s Assembly Rooftop is open to the public. Which is great news, as it is one of the most pleasant places to enjoy a drink in the whole of Philadelphia. The rooftop overlooks the city’s art and museum district and the extensive bar menu of cocktails, champagne, sparkling wines, craft beer and more are the perfect combination with which to enjoy the view. In colder weather, the bar’s toasty firepits and patio heaters will keep guests warm outdoors, or they can head inside to the covered bar.
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